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Keep your pace
It’s a long-term run
Long time no see. It’s been a month since I’ve returned to Tyumen. I won't bore you with the details, but it was an amazing month. Here are three takeaways:
Growing hair that long took me about a year. It’s a great example of how we should treat ourselves when learning something new. We get better over time, not over one night.
Being away from home for over six months gave me answers to all kinds of questions. A huge amount of uninterrupted time alone allows to think things over and take a precise look at your life. So if you’re having a hard time deciding what to do with your life, pack up and go somewhere alone.
The more events happen, the more focused I am, the slower time seems to run. One month at home feels like half a year. So much done! And yet so many points are left to do. At least tonight I will cross writing this email off the list.
How have you been recently? What’s up? If you’re new here, feel free to say “hey” at firstname.lastname@example.org. I may not answer right away, but I definitely will.
Insight of the week. Marketing is BS
Marketing is everywhere. Someone's ad is targeted at you when you're taking shit. Someone is trying to sell you their stuff right now while you're reading this post. Brands have gone too far playing this marketing game. It stopped being funny. It has become more of a burden.
People are tired of marketing. Badly. Especially of the one that teaches how to live your life, treat your kids, or become a better version of yourself. They say, "You're imperfect. Do this and you'll become that. Buy this thing and it'll empower you to do those cool things." All kind of bullshit like this is ubiquitous. It's all over the place.
Brands keep selling magic pills when people know it's a myth. Fuck them.
No surprise we're so tired of marketing. No one likes to be taken for a fool. People have learned most of marketing tricks they used to fall prey to. They don't fall for them anymore. But most marketers are too short-sighted to see that. So they keep pushing.
People don't want to be manipulated or be taken advantage of anymore. They seek respect, trust, and care. They look for help, support, and understanding. They have always been looking for those things, long before marketing was invented. People want to see they're heard.
To put it simply, marketing is any communication between a brand and a customer. However, most of the time you don't even know you're a customer. Brands simply push something towards you without asking: an email, a message, a call, an advertisement.
You're no longer taking an active part in this play. You're an impersonal audience they sell to. You are to watch and choose between Y and N buttons. That's your role when it comes to marketing today. No one give a shit what you need.
Marketing is not about selling by force. It's about selling to the right people by fitting their needs and solving their problems the way they expect.
Marketing is not about bombarding people with calls and emails. It's about talking to the right person as if it was a private meaningful conversation with a friend which is in need right now.
Marketing is not about deciding what is the best color for the CTA-button or if it should have a outline and a shadow. It's about finding the right words and images to convey your message, to make others feel they belong.
Marketing is not about a bouncing popup-window that appears when you've just opened the website. It's about letting people look through your page and make an informed decision on their own.
We need to remarket marketing. We need to have a clear and honest conversation with people we'd like to see as our customers and clients. That would be a great start.
Leadership principle. Keep your pace
Writers and designers are afraid of ChatGPT and other AI services popping up all over the place. They shouldn’t be. It won’t leave you out of work unless you do one thing: keep moving.
TV didn’t kill theater. The internet didn’t kill TV. Remote work didn’t kill offices. Those things changed the game, but didn’t kill prior technologies. They just kept going. Nobody likes change, but it’s not death.
AI is yet another tool to your arsenal. It won’t replace you, because it can’t feel and reflect. It runs algorithms designed by… humans. It was designed to replicate and repeat ideas invented by humans. And most of the work today can’t be trusted to AI. Not without a human supervision.
ChatGPT can write a good summary, give some ideas, and spur your imagination. But it can’t create new meanings. Humans exceed AI in innovation. And I don’t think AI will ever come any close to what we are capable of when it comes to creating new paradigms, concepts, and ideas.
Don’t panic. It’s a long-term run. A marathon, not a sprint. Keep your pace and stay in the game as long as you can by bringing new ideas to the people you serve. It never goes out of fashion.
Writing trick. How to make a great interview
No one likes taking part in a dull, predictable conversation. No one likes watching boring interviews. But all of us enjoy interviews that accidentally turn into an argument or that make us feel good about ourselves. The best way to do that is to ask thought-provoking and insightful questions such as:
What did you feel when your father passed away? How would you describe that feeling?
Why you didn't leave the country after those events? What impact did this decision have on you?
What's your attitude to those who thinks this way? Do you agree they should be…?
You got the idea. Thought-provoking questions are necessary if you want your interview to be engaging and memorable both for your guest and your audience. Here's how they contribute to that:
Help you stand out among other interviewers.
May lead to a series of questions and topics you didn't expect to arise.
Make the interviewee look good or put them on the spot instead.
These types of questions spice things up and put your interviewee on a spot. It shouldn't necessarily be an open conflict, but it should be provocative and hard to answer right away. Easy questions have no challenge for the interviewee. So this is one way to use those questions: create a small conflict and push the buttons that may lead to a debate.
Though there's another way to use thought-provoking questions. Put the interviewee in a spot where they can express their opinion and prove their expertise and status. Give them the green light to show their best side. That's why people do interviews in the first place: to build their media platform, to share their ideas with a new audience, and to feed their ego.
It's totally fine to use insightful questions to make your hero look good in the eyes of their followers. Their answers will also make their audience feel smart, valued, and honored. It’s a win-win situation.
That’s it for today. Hope you’ve enjoyed this email. And if you have, share it with your friends and people who may like it. I’ll appreciate your support and feedback.
Till we meet again.
Tyumen, 18 June 2023
Ask me anything via email: email@example.com